Monday :: Jan 24, 2011

A Nation in Lockdown

by Oly Mike

Pres Obama renewed the national state of emergency this past year. That is the national state of emergency that was declared after Sep 11, 2001. This is one long emergency.

Courtesy Wikimedia CommonsA reasonable person may assume that the State has an excuse to exercise certain powers during a state of emergency that might not otherwise be conducive to a free and open democracy.

One of the things that has happened during this state of emergency is the rendition of individuals to countries where they are tortured. The torture creates problems for prosecution because the evidence is both tainted and unreliable. Boy, did the anti-terrorist warriors paint themselves into a difficult corner, but they are in luck, not many people appear to be noticing the problems.

One big problem for this system resolves if you can hold folks indefinitely without ever bring them to trial. It's true that we commoners forced a King to recognize the right of habeas corpus many centuries ago and that habeas corpus has been a bulwark against executive abuse ever since, but it has clearly become inconvenient and so "old Europe" that it just had to go. Have a display at the Smithsonion about habeas corpus, but forget about trying to exercise in US courts.

Another problem that arises with the long term imprisonment of many, many people (some of whom have never and may never see the inside of a courthouse to challenge their detention) is that prisoners are a chatty bunch. If you let them talk with each other, with their families, with reporters, who knows what they will say. No problem, we have a solution for that. Solitary confinement. It's torture and it's effective in a police state.

Read about a nation in lockdown at Solitary Watch.

Happy Monday, all. Chat it up if you can.

Oly Mike :: 8:29 AM :: Comments (10) :: Digg It!